This Is Why so Many Bars, Restaurants and Coffee Shops Look the Same Across the World

Or how social media has “flattened” personal taste

Charlie Brown
Rooted

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Photo by Dinuka Lankaloka on Unsplash

You couldn’t snap a decent photo in my wine store and bar.

There was not a single “Instagrammable” spot in there. Every photo came out looking like something your mum would take on her digital camera circa 2005.

I would love to say this was intentional. A way to stop people from whipping out their phone to take photos (“look at us, drinking nice wine in a nice bar #imagecrafting”).

In reality, it was down to my lack of interior design skills and an over-zealous use of the Edison light bulb.

This sort of unintentional, un-aesthetically pleasing design probably wouldn’t fly today. Today, restaurants, bars and cafés seem to be more interested in becoming what restaurant critic Grace Dent wonderfully called Instagram content fulfilment hubs than places with soul or substance.

That’s not just me saying this, there are whole books, podcasts and essays on the issue.

And there is an unfortunate side effect to the hospitality’s obsession with social media-friendly spaces.

Everything looks the same.

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Charlie Brown
Rooted
Editor for

Writer of opinions. Wine & food pro. Editor of Rooted, a boostable Medium food & drink pub. Niche-avoidant. Also at thesaucemag.substack.com